The Tokyo Olympics will still take place this summer, but one state offered to host for them in case they back out.
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis wrote the International Olympic Committee (IOC), encouraging them to relocate the event to the Sunshine State. In his letter, Patronis mentioned recent reports about Japanese officials “privately” concluding that current concerns with the pandemic make it too unsafe to continue with the Olympics in Tokyo.
He mentioned that while most states have shut down their sporting events during the pandemic, Florida continued to hold several of their own, such as UFC fights, and the “bubble” used as a home for the NBA games in Orlando.
“Moreover, during football season the National Football League (NFL) and college teams were able to compete on Florida soil,” Patronis said. “Additionally, our international tourist destinations, like Disney parks have been open and operating safely in Florida for some time. In fact, Disney serves as an incredible model for how to run a complex organization in the midst of COVID-19.”
Furthermore, Patronis pushed that Florida’s hotel capacity and transportation networks would allow the state to hold the Olympic Games without any issue and that they “have a state with leaders who are willing to get this done.”
However, one economic expert expressed his feelings about Patronis’s letter to the IOC.
In an interview with HuffPost, Holy Cross economist Victor Matheson called the idea “batsh*t crazy.”
“If Tokyo is not safe enough due to COVID to host the event, there’s no way in a million years, Florida is safe enough to host the event,” Matheson said. “It simply means that Tokyo actually cares about whether they want a mass superspreader event in their city while Florida doesn’t.”
Japan And The IOC Say The Games Are Still On
Although Patronis pushed hard to get the IOC to move the Olympics to Florida, that won’t be happening.
The Japanese government denied any rumors that claim that the Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled.
The IOC also responded and said that they did not receive Patronis’s letter asking for the Olympics to move to Florida; the committee called these reports “categorically untrue,” and said they are “committed to the successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 this year.”
The original Tokyo Olympics would’ve taken place last July, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, they postponed them until this summer.
IOC President Thomas Bach and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement on March 24, expressing their concern for athletes and attendees alike. They agreed that the Olympic flame would remain in Tokyo and that the name of the Games would remain as Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Days later, they announced new dates, with the Olympic Games set from July 23 through August 8 and the Paralympics from August 24 through September 5.